Importation of Orchids in Growing Media From Taiwan, 74720-74722 [2016-26031]

Download as PDF 74720 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 81, No. 208 Thursday, October 27, 2016 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS–2016–0005] RIN 0579–AE28 Importation of Orchids in Growing Media From Taiwan Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of plants for planting to add orchid plants of the genus Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified growing, inspection, and certification requirements. We are taking this action in response to a request from the Taiwanese Government and after determining that the plants could be imported, under certain conditions, without resulting in the introduction into, or the dissemination within, the United States of a plant pest or noxious weed. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 27, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2016-0005. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2016–0005, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www. regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= APHIS-2016-0005 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Oct 26, 2016 Jkt 241001 and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799–7039 before coming. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. ´ Lydia E. Colon, Regulatory Policy Specialist, Plants for Planting Policy, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851–2302. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 prohibit or restrict the importation into the United States of certain plants and plant products to prevent the introduction of plant pests and noxious weeds. The regulations in ‘‘Subpart— Plants for Planting,’’ §§ 319.37 through 319.37–14 (referred to below as the regulations) contain, among other things, prohibitions and restrictions on the importation of plants, plant parts, and seeds for propagation. Paragraph (a) of § 319.37–8 of the regulations requires, with certain exceptions, that plants offered for importation into the United States be free of sand, soil, earth, and other growing media. This requirement is intended to help prevent the introduction of plant pests that might be present in the growing media; the exceptions to the requirement take into account factors that mitigate that plant pest risk. Those exceptions, which are found in paragraphs (b) through (e) of § 319.37–8, consider either the origin of the plants and growing media (paragraph (b)), the nature of the growing media (paragraphs (c) and (d)), or the use of a combination of growing conditions, approved media, inspections, and other requirements (paragraph (e)). Paragraph (e) of § 319.37–8 provides conditions under which certain plants established in growing media may be imported into the United States. In addition to specifying the types of plants that may be imported § 319.37– 8(e) also: • Specifies the types of growing media that may be used; • Requires plants to be grown in accordance with written agreements between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the national plant protection organization PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (NPPO) of the country where the plants are grown and between the foreign NPPO and the grower; • Requires the plants to be rooted and grown for a specified period in a greenhouse that meets certain requirements for pest exclusion and that is used only for plants being grown in compliance with § 319.37–8(e); • Requires that the parent plants of the exported plants in growing media are produced from seed germinated in the production greenhouse or from mother plants that are grown and monitored for a specified period prior to export of the descendant plants; • Specifies the sources of water that may be used on the plants, the height of the benches on which the plants must be grown, and the conditions under which the plants must be stored and packaged; and • Requires that the plants be inspected in the greenhouse and found free of evidence of plant pests no more than 30 days prior to the exportation of the plants. A phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of the country in which the plants were grown that declares that the above conditions have been met must accompany the plants at the time of importation. These conditions have been used to successfully mitigate the risk of pest introduction associated with the importation into the United States of approved plants established in growing media. Currently, orchid plants of genus Dendrobium spp. may only be imported into the United States from Taiwan as bare root plants, in accordance with § 319.37–2. The NPPO of Taiwan has requested that importation into the United States of those plants in growing media be allowed under the provisions of § 319.37–8. The regulations in § 319.37–8(g) provide that requests such as the one made by the Government of Taiwan be evaluated by APHIS using a pest risk assessment (PRA) that uses specific pest risk evaluation standards that are based on pest risk analysis guidelines established by the International Plant Protection Convention of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. Such analyses are conducted to determine the plant pest risks associated with each requested plant article and to determine whether or not APHIS should propose to allow E:\FR\FM\27OCP1.SGM 27OCP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2016 / Proposed Rules the requested plant article established in growing media to be imported into the United States. In accordance with § 319.37–8(g), APHIS has conducted the required PRA, which can be viewed on the Internet on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room.1 In the PRA, titled ‘‘Importation of Dendrobium spp. plants in Approved Growing Media From Taiwan into the United States,’’ APHIS determined that three quarantine pests present in Taiwan could potentially follow the import pathway: • Helionothrips errans (Williams), a thrips. • Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, the chili thrips. • Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), the Oriental leafworm moth. A quarantine pest is defined in § 319.37–1 of the regulations as a plant pest of potential economic importance to the United States and not yet present in the United States, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled. Potential plant pest risks associated with the importation of Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan in growing media into the United States were derived by estimating the consequences and likelihood of introduction of each quarantine pest into the United States and ranking the risk potential as high, medium, or low. The PRA determined that one of these three pests—S. dorsalis—poses a high pest risk potential. The remaining pests—H. errans and S. litura—were rated as having a medium pest risk potential. Further, it is important to note that those plant pest risks were analyzed in the absence of the mitigative effects of the requirements in § 319.37–8(e), which are designed to establish and maintain a pest-free production environment and ensure the use of pestfree seeds or parent plants. The risk management document (RMD) concluded that the safeguards in § 319.37–8(e) would allow the safe importation of Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan provided that the plants are established in an approved growing medium and meet all other applicable conditions of § 319.37–8(e). This determination is based on the findings of the PRA, RMD, and the Secretary’s judgment that the application of the measures required under § 319.37–8(e) will prevent the introduction or 1 Instructions on accessing Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room may be found at the beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. You may also request paper copies of the risk analysis by calling or writing the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Oct 26, 2016 Jkt 241001 dissemination of plant pests into the United States. Accordingly, we are proposing to amend the regulations in § 319.37–8(e) by adding Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan to the list of plants established in an approved growing medium that may be imported into the United States. The plants would have to be produced, handled, and imported in accordance with the requirements of § 319.37–8(e) and be accompanied at the time of importation by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of Taiwan that declares that those requirements have been met. Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov). The proposed rule would enable Taiwanese exporters to provide highervalued, mature Dendrobium spp. plants directly to wholesalers and retailers. However, such a scenario is considered unlikely, given the technical challenges and marketing costs incurred when shipping finished plants in pots. A more likely scenario is for Taiwan to continue to export immature Dendrobium spp. plants as bare root plants or in approved growing media to U.S. nurseries to grow and sell as finished plants. Taiwan is the world’s largest orchid exporter, with international sales in 2013 totaling $166.3 million. That year, Dendrobium spp. orchids comprised less than 0.1 percent (that is, less than $166,000) of the value of Taiwan’s orchid exports worldwide. The United States imported more than 6,400 metric tons of live orchids valued at $79.4 million in 2015. Orchid imports from Taiwan comprised almost 77 percent of this value, at $61.4 million. In comparison, the value of orchid plants produced in the United States in 2014 was $300 million, with Dendrobium spp. production totaling $12.3 million. Given Dendrobium spp. making up such a small share of Taiwan’s orchid sales worldwide, this proposed rule is not expected to have a PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 74721 significant impact on the U.S. orchid industry. U.S. Dendrobium spp. producers numbered 216 in 2014, but the number of these establishments that are small entities is not known. Given Dendrobium spp. making up such an insignificant share of Taiwan’s exports worldwide and the fact that Phalaenopsis and Oncidium spp. orchids are already being imported from Taiwan in approved growing media, we expect the proposed rule would not significantly change the volume or value of orchids imported into the continental United States from Taiwan. Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Executive Order 12988 This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule. National Environmental Policy Act To provide the public with documentation of APHIS’ review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed importation of Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan, we have prepared an environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS’ NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) In addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. E:\FR\FM\27OCP1.SGM 27OCP1 74722 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2016 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Please send written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS–2016–0005. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one of the methods described under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document, and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404–W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. APHIS is proposing to amend the regulations governing the importation of plants and plant products to add orchid plants of the genus Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified growing requirements. Respondents will complete activities such as phytosanitary certificates, written agreements, and inspections. We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper performance of our agency’s functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.166 hours per response. Respondents: Foreign government and businesses. Estimated annual number of respondents: 16. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:35 Oct 26, 2016 Jkt 241001 Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 17. Estimated annual number of responses: 271. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 316 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.) A copy of the information collection may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) Copies can also be obtained from Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851–2727. APHIS will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final rule. All comments will also become a matter of public record. E-Government Act Compliance The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly Hardy, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851– 2727. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319 Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rice, Vegetables. Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows: PART 319—FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES 1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701–7772, and 7781–7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. § 319.37–8 [Amended] 2. In § 319.37–8(e) introductory text, amend the list of plants by adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for ‘‘Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan’’. ■ PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of October 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2016–26031 Filed 10–26–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 319 [Docket No. APHIS–2016–0022] RIN 0579–AE29 Importation of Hass Avocados From Colombia Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States. As a condition of entry, Hass avocados from Colombia would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would include requirements for importation in commercial consignments; registration and monitoring of places of production and packinghouses; pest-free places of production; grove sanitation, monitoring, and pest control practices; lot identification; and inspection for quarantine pests by the Colombian national plant protection organization. Additionally, avocados from Colombia would be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the avocados have been produced in accordance with the proposed requirements. This action would allow for the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 27, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0022. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comments to Docket No. APHIS–2016–0022, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27OCP1.SGM 27OCP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 208 (Thursday, October 27, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 74720-74722]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26031]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 208 / Thursday, October 27, 2016 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 74720]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2016-0005]
RIN 0579-AE28


Importation of Orchids in Growing Media From Taiwan

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the regulations governing the 
importation of plants for planting to add orchid plants of the genus 
Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported into 
the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to specified 
growing, inspection, and certification requirements. We are taking this 
action in response to a request from the Taiwanese Government and after 
determining that the plants could be imported, under certain 
conditions, without resulting in the introduction into, or the 
dissemination within, the United States of a plant pest or noxious 
weed.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
December 27, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0005.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2016-0005, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-
0005 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA 
South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, 
please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lydia E. Col[oacute]n, Regulatory 
Policy Specialist, Plants for Planting Policy, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2302.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR part 319 prohibit or restrict the 
importation into the United States of certain plants and plant products 
to prevent the introduction of plant pests and noxious weeds. The 
regulations in ``Subpart--Plants for Planting,'' Sec. Sec.  319.37 
through 319.37-14 (referred to below as the regulations) contain, among 
other things, prohibitions and restrictions on the importation of 
plants, plant parts, and seeds for propagation.
    Paragraph (a) of Sec.  319.37-8 of the regulations requires, with 
certain exceptions, that plants offered for importation into the United 
States be free of sand, soil, earth, and other growing media. This 
requirement is intended to help prevent the introduction of plant pests 
that might be present in the growing media; the exceptions to the 
requirement take into account factors that mitigate that plant pest 
risk. Those exceptions, which are found in paragraphs (b) through (e) 
of Sec.  319.37-8, consider either the origin of the plants and growing 
media (paragraph (b)), the nature of the growing media (paragraphs (c) 
and (d)), or the use of a combination of growing conditions, approved 
media, inspections, and other requirements (paragraph (e)).
    Paragraph (e) of Sec.  319.37-8 provides conditions under which 
certain plants established in growing media may be imported into the 
United States. In addition to specifying the types of plants that may 
be imported Sec.  319.37-8(e) also:
     Specifies the types of growing media that may be used;
     Requires plants to be grown in accordance with written 
agreements between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) and the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of the 
country where the plants are grown and between the foreign NPPO and the 
grower;
     Requires the plants to be rooted and grown for a specified 
period in a greenhouse that meets certain requirements for pest 
exclusion and that is used only for plants being grown in compliance 
with Sec.  319.37-8(e);
     Requires that the parent plants of the exported plants in 
growing media are produced from seed germinated in the production 
greenhouse or from mother plants that are grown and monitored for a 
specified period prior to export of the descendant plants;
     Specifies the sources of water that may be used on the 
plants, the height of the benches on which the plants must be grown, 
and the conditions under which the plants must be stored and packaged; 
and
     Requires that the plants be inspected in the greenhouse 
and found free of evidence of plant pests no more than 30 days prior to 
the exportation of the plants.
    A phytosanitary certificate issued by the NPPO of the country in 
which the plants were grown that declares that the above conditions 
have been met must accompany the plants at the time of importation. 
These conditions have been used to successfully mitigate the risk of 
pest introduction associated with the importation into the United 
States of approved plants established in growing media.
    Currently, orchid plants of genus Dendrobium spp. may only be 
imported into the United States from Taiwan as bare root plants, in 
accordance with Sec.  319.37-2. The NPPO of Taiwan has requested that 
importation into the United States of those plants in growing media be 
allowed under the provisions of Sec.  319.37-8.
    The regulations in Sec.  319.37-8(g) provide that requests such as 
the one made by the Government of Taiwan be evaluated by APHIS using a 
pest risk assessment (PRA) that uses specific pest risk evaluation 
standards that are based on pest risk analysis guidelines established 
by the International Plant Protection Convention of the United Nations' 
Food and Agriculture Organization. Such analyses are conducted to 
determine the plant pest risks associated with each requested plant 
article and to determine whether or not APHIS should propose to allow

[[Page 74721]]

the requested plant article established in growing media to be imported 
into the United States. In accordance with Sec.  319.37-8(g), APHIS has 
conducted the required PRA, which can be viewed on the Internet on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Instructions on accessing Regulations.gov and information on 
the location and hours of the reading room may be found at the 
beginning of this document under ADDRESSES. You may also request 
paper copies of the risk analysis by calling or writing the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the PRA, titled ``Importation of Dendrobium spp. plants in 
Approved Growing Media From Taiwan into the United States,'' APHIS 
determined that three quarantine pests present in Taiwan could 
potentially follow the import pathway:
     Helionothrips errans (Williams), a thrips.
     Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, the chili thrips.
     Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), the Oriental leafworm moth.
    A quarantine pest is defined in Sec.  319.37-1 of the regulations 
as a plant pest of potential economic importance to the United States 
and not yet present in the United States, or present but not widely 
distributed and being officially controlled. Potential plant pest risks 
associated with the importation of Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan in 
growing media into the United States were derived by estimating the 
consequences and likelihood of introduction of each quarantine pest 
into the United States and ranking the risk potential as high, medium, 
or low. The PRA determined that one of these three pests--S. dorsalis--
poses a high pest risk potential. The remaining pests--H. errans and S. 
litura--were rated as having a medium pest risk potential. Further, it 
is important to note that those plant pest risks were analyzed in the 
absence of the mitigative effects of the requirements in Sec.  319.37-
8(e), which are designed to establish and maintain a pest-free 
production environment and ensure the use of pest-free seeds or parent 
plants. The risk management document (RMD) concluded that the 
safeguards in Sec.  319.37-8(e) would allow the safe importation of 
Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan provided that the plants are established in 
an approved growing medium and meet all other applicable conditions of 
Sec.  319.37-8(e). This determination is based on the findings of the 
PRA, RMD, and the Secretary's judgment that the application of the 
measures required under Sec.  319.37-8(e) will prevent the introduction 
or dissemination of plant pests into the United States.
    Accordingly, we are proposing to amend the regulations in Sec.  
319.37-8(e) by adding Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan to the list of plants 
established in an approved growing medium that may be imported into the 
United States. The plants would have to be produced, handled, and 
imported in accordance with the requirements of Sec.  319.37-8(e) and 
be accompanied at the time of importation by a phytosanitary 
certificate issued by the NPPO of Taiwan that declares that those 
requirements have been met.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been 
reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.
    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, we have analyzed 
the potential economic effects of this action on small entities. The 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    The proposed rule would enable Taiwanese exporters to provide 
higher-valued, mature Dendrobium spp. plants directly to wholesalers 
and retailers. However, such a scenario is considered unlikely, given 
the technical challenges and marketing costs incurred when shipping 
finished plants in pots. A more likely scenario is for Taiwan to 
continue to export immature Dendrobium spp. plants as bare root plants 
or in approved growing media to U.S. nurseries to grow and sell as 
finished plants.
    Taiwan is the world's largest orchid exporter, with international 
sales in 2013 totaling $166.3 million. That year, Dendrobium spp. 
orchids comprised less than 0.1 percent (that is, less than $166,000) 
of the value of Taiwan's orchid exports worldwide.
    The United States imported more than 6,400 metric tons of live 
orchids valued at $79.4 million in 2015. Orchid imports from Taiwan 
comprised almost 77 percent of this value, at $61.4 million. In 
comparison, the value of orchid plants produced in the United States in 
2014 was $300 million, with Dendrobium spp. production totaling $12.3 
million. Given Dendrobium spp. making up such a small share of Taiwan's 
orchid sales worldwide, this proposed rule is not expected to have a 
significant impact on the U.S. orchid industry.
    U.S. Dendrobium spp. producers numbered 216 in 2014, but the number 
of these establishments that are small entities is not known. Given 
Dendrobium spp. making up such an insignificant share of Taiwan's 
exports worldwide and the fact that Phalaenopsis and Oncidium spp. 
orchids are already being imported from Taiwan in approved growing 
media, we expect the proposed rule would not significantly change the 
volume or value of orchids imported into the continental United States 
from Taiwan.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
proposed importation of Dendrobium spp. from Taiwan, we have prepared 
an environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was prepared 
in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the 
Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations 
implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) In 
addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

[[Page 74722]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2016-0005. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Please send a 
copy of your comments to: (1) APHIS, using one of the methods described 
under ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document, and (2) Clearance 
Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404-W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250.
    APHIS is proposing to amend the regulations governing the 
importation of plants and plant products to add orchid plants of the 
genus Dendrobium from Taiwan to the list of plants that may be imported 
into the United States in an approved growing medium, subject to 
specified growing requirements. Respondents will complete activities 
such as phytosanitary certificates, written agreements, and 
inspections.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 1.166 hours per response.
    Respondents: Foreign government and businesses.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 16.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 17.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 271.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 316 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    A copy of the information collection may be viewed on the 
Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room. (A link to 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning 
of this proposed rule.) Copies can also be obtained from Ms. Kimberly 
Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727. 
APHIS will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final rule. All 
comments will also become a matter of public record.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the EGovernment Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Ms. Kimberly 
Hardy, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2727.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 319 as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.


Sec.  319.37-8  [Amended]

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2. In Sec.  319.37-8(e) introductory text, amend the list of plants by 
adding, in alphabetical order, an entry for ``Dendrobium spp. from 
Taiwan''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of October 2016.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-26031 Filed 10-26-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P